From the classic lemonade stand to more structured avenues like selling Girl Scout Cookies there are lots of ways for kids to get involved in being a little entrepreneurial. Start them young, allow them to fail (and see it’s not the end of the world, but really an incredible lesson in how to do better next time!), and let their ideas pop out of the box (sure you can pick dandelions out of my yard for me at $0.05 per full plant + root!) and you’ll be sure to have budding entrepreneurs in no time. Looking for a little inspiration? Here are a few books you may want to check out to peak their entrepreneurial spirit.
The Donut Chef - When his competitor sets up his business right next door to the first doughnut shop in town, culinary chaos ensues as the original doughnut guru and the newcomer try to outdo one another with their crazy creations, including Gooey Coca-Mocha Silk and Peanut-Brittle Buttermilk.
When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree - “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” In this imaginative take on that popular saying, a child is surprised to receive a lemon tree from Grandma for her birthday. After all, she DID ask for a new gadget! But when she follows the narrator’s careful—and funny—instructions, she discovers that the tree might be exactly what she wanted after all.
Even Aliens Need Snacks - In the follow up to his breakout picture book, Even Monsters Need Haircuts, Matthew McElligott brings back the young monster barber in a new tale where his culinary concoctions bring him galaxy-wide fame. Creating snacks that make most humans queasy, this chef has found a new clientele—aliens. Readers will delight in McElligott’s gently offbeat humor and unique artistry as spaceships full of hilarious creatures line up for a taste of the intergalactic cuisine.
Even Monsters Need Haircuts - Just before midnight, on the night of a full moon, a young barber stays out past his bedtime to go to work. Although his customers are mostly regulars, they are anything but normal—after all, even monsters need haircuts. Business is steady all night, and this barber is prepared for anything with his scissors, rotting tonic, horn polish, and stink wax. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to help these creatures maintain their ghoulish good looks. Perfect for Halloween, this is a hilarious story about a boy who follows in his father’s footsteps . . . in his own monstrously unique way.
100 First Words for Little CEOs - Is macroeconomics the dinner table talk in your house? Do you discuss stocks and bonds instead of the weather? Are you the boss at work? It’s only rational that your baby will be a leader too! But how to get their leadership started? Introducing 100 First Words for Little CEOs, a dashingly sharp primer for kids learning their first words! Forget apple and dog. Little CEOs are ready for revenue, philanthropy, and innovation. With terms from every aspect of business, these little CEOs will be ready to manage their own company, even at the age of 2. (Or maybe just their families). Packed with fun illustrations and 100 words every boss baby should know, 100 First Words for Little CEOs is the perfect board book for executive families everywhere.
Monkey Business - A music festival is coming to town, and Annabelle and her friends can’t wait to rock out—that is if they can earn enough cash to buy the expensive tickets. In this day and age, a regular old lemonade stand isn’t going to cut it. They’ll need to get creative, but agreeing on a strategy is harder than Annabelle thought, especially when her best friend, Rachel, has strong opinions that threaten not just their business model, but their friendship as well. With big plans—and big changes—afoot, there’s no time for Annabelle and crew to monkey around! Capturing the ups and downs of friendship, family, and middle school in her pitch perfect storytelling, Leslie Margolis keeps readers coming back for more of life according to Annabelle Stevens.
The Startup Squad - Girls mean business in a brand-new middle grade series about friendship and entrepreneurship! All the great leaders had to start somewhere. And Theresa (“Resa” for short) is starting with the lemonade stand competition her teacher assigned to the class—but making it a success is going to be a lot harder than Resa thinks. The prize: line-skipping tickets to Adventure Central. The competition: Val, Resa’s middle school nemesis. And the biggest obstacle to success: Resa’s own teammates. Harriet is the class clown, Amelia is the new girl who thinks she knows best, and Didi is Resa’s steadfast friend—who doesn’t know the first thing about making or selling lemonade. The four of them quickly realize that the recipe for success is tough to perfect—but listening to each other is the first step. And making new friends might be the most important one… The back of each book features tips from the Startup Squad and an inspirational profile of a girl entrepreneur!
Payback on Poplar Lane - Twelve-year-old Peter Gronkowski prides himself on being a professional businessman. Tired of the cliched lemonade stands that line his block, he decides to start a better business with the help of an intern. But his intern of choice, the quiet and writerly Rachel Chambers, turns out to be more than he bargained for. Rachel is innovative, resourceful, driven—and when she’s had enough of Peter’s overbearing management style, she decides to start a competing empire next door. As their rivalry and sabotage tactics become more outrageous—Slander! Espionage! Lemonade threats!—Peter and Rachel ultimately learn the hard way that “nothing gold can stay” and that friendship is more important than money. Alternating perspectives reveal what really motivates each character to win. And Peter’s memos and “business tips” as well as excerpts from Rachel’s melodramatic novel-in-progress generate fresh hilarity and tension at every page turn. Payback on Poplar Lane is a pitch-perfect comedy with heart, reminiscent of your favorite classic middle-grade series.
Jelly Bean Summer - Joyce has had it with her family (especially with UFO-sighting Elaine who loves her guinea pig more than her own sister). Her solution? Move out of the house and pitch a tent on the roof for the summer. But when she spots a boy watching her from a neighboring roof she’s stunned-and intrigued. Brian recently lost his brother, and the two instantly bond over their messed-up families. To help Brian repair his brother’s truck, they concoct a scheme to build and sell tickets to a UFO display. Even Elaine agrees to help… until unexpected events test the limits of Joyce’s family ties.
Miss Fox's Class Earns a Field Trip - Miss Fox’s class wants to go to Roller Coaster Planet—but they have to earn their way to the park. When their fund-raising attempts go awry, the class discovers their earnings are going down, not up! This fun picture book introduces kids to budgeting.
Sammy Startup - It’s time to handle business with Sammy and his trusty management team as they embark on a new venture. A hot tamale and a meeting in the park provides the team with inspiration for a refreshing new business idea.
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